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Crossovers aid GM sales

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Crossover vehicles made at General Motors Corp.'s Delta Township plant continue to play a big role in driving the carmaker's overall sales.

GM said Friday that sales climbed 8.8 percent in May, crediting the Delta-made Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook for part of the gain. The Detroit automaker said it sold 375,682 vehicles last month, compared with 345,157 in May 2006.

GM's light vehicle sales, which don't include such things as buses and heavy trucks, rose 9.7 percent to 371,056 units. Car sales surged 16.2 percent, while light trucks gained 5.6 percent.

So far this year, GM's overall sales are down 3.4 percent to 1.6 million.

But newly released vehicles, including the Enclave, Acadia and Outlook, are turning things around, the company said. The Enclave, which started rolling off the line in April, beat expectations.

"Dealers are selling them as soon as they arrive from the plant," GM said in a statement.

"Our midsize crossover segment performance, including the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, continues to grow at a blistering pace," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North American sales, service and marketing.

Enclave sales last month came in at 1,853, the first full month the vehicle was available. Fifty-two Enclaves were sold in April.

The Enclave's first full-month finish was better than its sister vehicles. In their first full month of sales in January, there were 1,682 Acadias and 944 Outlooks sold.

The Acadia and Outlook had their best sales month so far in May, with 9,073 and 4,048 units sold.

The results come a week after GM said it was dropping plans for a third shift at the Delta plant, saying the work could be done effectively with two shifts. The carmaker plans to end third-shift work in the body and paint areas. Third-shift work in general assembly had not started. Sales at vehicles made at Lansing Grand River, GM's other local assembly plant, were mixed.

Cadillac CTS sales were down 6.4 percent in the weeks before the redesigned version is to go into production. There were 4,555 CTSes sold last month, compared with 4,869 a year ago.

The STS also had a slow month, with sales dipping 15.1 percent to 1,842 units. SRX sales increased 5.6 percent to 2,225 units in May.

The results are reported on an unadjusted basis, which does not account for a different number of sales days year to year.

Source: http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/NEWS03/706020318/1004/news03
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